Richard staggered slightly as the corridor seemed to shift slightly under his feet. He frowned; it had only been 3 drinks, could he really be such a lightweight after his time in stasis? Still, he was steady enough now. Richard continued walking back towards his temporary quarters. He had been assigned them after leaving Doctor Dresdon and the sick bay. It had barley been a week of rehabilitative therapy and sleep learning before he was judged ready to work. Today he had been assigned his post, and met his new captain. Starting tomorrow at 0600 Richard’s new job would be as crew/medic on Salvage Tug 27.
Having been assigned his personal kit, survival suit, and medical supplies; Richard had then met his captain and crew. Not wanting to go out with an unknown man, there had been an informal crew dinner/party. Richard had kept his head, had only three drinks, and then begged off to pack and prepare before their early shift the next day.
Richard’s corridor came out into one of the open public areas and plant atrium scattered throughout the Station when the floor shifted again, this time in a definitive and disturbing wavelike undulation which threw him to the floor. Klaxons began going off in all directions as damaged wall panels, broken lights, and twisted structural supports fell around the atrium. As the shaking stopped the alarms cut off, a voice then projected across the Station. “Impact Alert, We’ve been struck by a large fragment of loose debris. Shields are currently down, and the Station has sustained structural damage. All personnel report to your emergency stations. I repeat, we have sustained structural damage, all personnel report to your emergency stations.” The message continued to replete itself, so Richard tuned it out and looked about to asses the situation.
Lights flickered throughout the atrium. Support beams hung from the walls and ceiling like broken bones protruding from wounds, and the stench of fried electronics hung heavily in the air. Several bodies were sprawled unnaturally across the ground, or crushed beneth debris, and dozens of people clutched minor injuries and wailed in pain and shock. Others were tending to the wounded, or leaving through the partially closed bulkhead door. Richard spotted one man, hurt badly and trapped under a support beam; he raced over just as the man passed out from his injuries.
Working quickly Richard assessed the damage; it was bad but not impossible. Definitely several broken ribs, maybe a punctured lung, and likely internal bleeding as well. The left arm was also broken, but like the scalp wound and other lacerations he considered this minor. Most concerning for patient survival though was the large beam pinning his chest to the floor. Little could be done with it in place, and it didn’t look stable either. Richard looked about, nobody was nearby and he could see the pile shift very slightly. He just needed to make it go the right direction with enough support that it wouldn’t crush the patient. Richard cast his eyes desperately about, he wasn’t strong enough to support that weight; his eye stopped on an open emergency storage locker. Moving quickly he reached in and grabbed a Bod-Pod; made as a short term, inflatable, one-man life-raft with an emergency beacon, the Bod-Pod would inflate, and should be strong enough to support the extra weight. Richard sealed shut the pod from the outside, and placed it next to the unconscious man. He hit the emergency inflate button, and rather than stepping back, he leaned forward to push on the girder. With his strength, and the added force of the rapidly inflating pod, the heavy beam lifted up slightly and shifted almost a meter to the side before crashing down with a resounding bang. Not taking any time to celebrate, Richard grabbed his newly assigned med-kid, sighed in relief that it wasn’t damaged, and got to work on his patient.
Time seemed to blur for a time. He worked without aid or assistance for what felt like and eternity before Doctor Dresdon and a medical team arrived to help. They quickly spelled off Richard, and get the body moving towards the med lab. Dresdon clapped Richard across the shoulders and said, “well done boy. I doubt he would have survived without you, and that was some delicate work you did there without any backup. You’re a good Doctor lad. Now, are you hurt? No; well then get yourself back to your bunk and get some rest. It’ll be lots more before this is delt with, but you’re not assisted to any damage crew.” He nodded conspiratorially and gave Richard a gentle shove towards his quarters.
It was 0400 when Richard was woken by his door chime. “Yes” he called out groggily.
“The anonymous voice on the other side of the door answered “you’re requested in med lab sir. Right away.”
Richard pulled himself upright, looked down and realized he was still dressed. He shrugged to himself and opened the door. The harried looking clerk started slightly at how quickly the door opened, but turned without a sound to lead him to med lab.
When Richard entered, he was directed to a private room where he found his patient, heavily bandaged but awake and sitting up. “Do you know who I am?” asked the man.
Richard was about to say no, but then he thought about it. “We’ve never met or seen each other..Sir, but I believe you are Tyberious Rex, the owner of the ”/campaign/51182/wikis/breaking-yards-of-sr-651" class=“wiki-page-link”> Company.
“Smart boy. They tell me that you saved my life.”
He seemed to want a reply, so Richard answered. “Truthfully Sir, I just did what I’m trained for. I honestly didn’t recognize you, I was just helping where I could.”
“Your honesty and humility are good. I wonder if you would have done the same if you had know it was me?” He paused a moment and then answered himself “I suppose you might have. HAH” He laughed once, and then grimaced in pain from his broken ribs. “Well young doctor, you not only saved my life, but you did it without thought, and in personal danger as well. For that should offer you some kind of reward. Tell me son, without being greedy” his eyes glinted either from cunning or from painkillers, “what kind of reward would you like?” As he finished saying this, a clerk entered the room and took up position by the door.
Richard thought a moment. “Well Sir, it seems to me that you’re a man who understands and knows value. I would hazard to say that the life of the head of the entire company is worth more than that of one flight medic. Would it be possible see my financial obligation cleared?”
The clerk cleared his throat. “Sir he is correct. His current financial debt is only 66,250 credits, an honest request for a reward.”
Tyberious looked slightly annoyed for a moment and stared at the clerk. He then responded to Richard. “Not greedy, but clever. Very well, I grant you full release from your debt to me. I will even make an addition to the offer; since I can use clever employees, I’ll hire you on with a raise and 2 years complimentary Station fees, or I’ll cover the cost of your passage on the first ship through.”
Richard very politely gave the matter some thought. The replied, “Sir that’s a very generous offer. But as you may know, I’ve recently woken up from a somewhat prolonged cryo-sleep. I would very much like to see the Galaxy, and learn what has changed while I’ve been gone. It is possible I will return back this direction, and if you’re offer is still open, I would happily consider a contract of employment.”
“Very well.” Said Tyberious. “Clerk, see to it that Mr. Marwood here has full paid passage on the next ship heading off Station. Now get out of here both of you and let me rest.”
Richard quietly said thank-you, and left the room. He concealed his smile until be was back in his own quarters. Not only was his debt clear, he had transport out of here. He gathered his merge belongings quickly, and headed towards the docks, he hoped that they hadn’t sustained any damage, as he wanted to be gone before he could incur any more fees.
Fortunately the docks were intact, and since business must go on, operating. By 0630 Richard had a berth on an Ore-Freighter named Jezabelle and in 10 days should be arriving on Dolorium.